Football Begins MIAC Play Saturday at No. 4 Saint John’s

Posted on September 20th, 2019 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus football team is set to begin its MIAC schedule on Saturday as they take on No. 4 Saint John’s in Collegeville, Minn. for a 1 p.m. contest. The Gusties enter the contest 2-0 while the Johnnies are 1-0.



The Series: Saturday’s game marks the 86th all-time meeting between the Gustavus and Saint John’s football programs. The Johnnies lead the series 50-32-3 and have won the past five meetings. Last season, Saint John’s won 45-13 in the first home night game for Gustavus since 1988, as they played at Saint Peter High School’s Floyd B. Johnson Memorial Field. Gustavus last defeated the Johnnies on Nov. 2, 2013 at Hollingsworth Field. Thomas Schleusener nailed a 37-yard field goal in double overtime to knock off the No. 22-ranked Johnnies by a margin of 23-20.

Scouting the Gusties: Gustavus enters Saturday’s conference opener after winning its two non-league games to start the season. After defeating Martin Luther 50-19 on Sept. 7, the Gusties rode the momentum to a 41-31 win at UW-Stout Saturday.

Against Stout, the Gusties played well on both sides of the ball and were able to all but put the game away through two and a half quarters as they held a 41-17 lead late into the third quarter. The Blue Devils would score late in the third as well as in the fourth but a near eight-minute possession in the fourth by the Black and Gold would help milk the clock and hold off the late rally.

Through two games, the Gusties average 45.5 points and 436.5 yards of total offense per game. On the defensive side of the ball, Gustavus has intercepted opposing quarterbacks five times this season, which is the most in the MIAC, while their 143 tackles rank third. The return game has been a strength early in the season as the Black and Gold averages 28.6 yards per kick return, which ranks second in the conference.

Michael Veldman (Sr., Becker) has been on top of his game early as he ranks first in the conference in quarterback efficiency (193.4), yards (602), and touchdowns (6). The receiving duo of Josh Kirk and Brice Panning have been a strong force this season with Kirk posting 14 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns, and Panning hauling in 12 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns. David Peal is the teams leading rusher with 36 carries for 108 yards and three touchdowns.

Defensively, Austin Fest (Jr., West Des Moines, Iowa) and Jake Boykin (Sr., Las Cruces, N.M.) both have recorded 13 tackles for the Gusties this season with Fest also nabbing an interception. Kaleb Scott (Jr., Gardena, Calif.) has two picks in the Gustavus secondary while Avery Bachman (Sr., Saint Peter) and Jake Krull (Sr., Wayzata) each have one.

Scouting the Johnnies: Saint John’s enters Saturday’s contest coming off of their bye week. The Johnnies also battled Stout in their most recent contest defeating them 14-7 on Sept. 7.

In their season opener the Johnnies fell behind early, and struggled to get their offense going, trailing 7-0 after one half of play. In the third quarter the Johnnies were finally able to get their offense going, as they scored on back-to-back possessions to take a 14-7 lead. They were then able to pick off the Stout quarterback three times in the last 17 minutes of play to secure the victory.

Reigning Gagliardi Trophy award winner Jackson Erdmann was 20-of-35 in the contest with 235 yards passing and two touchdowns as well as two interceptions. Henry Trost led the rushing attack with nine carries for 37 yards while also hauling in three passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Van Erp caught seven passes for 78 yards to lead the receivers.

James Inman led the defense with 10 tackles while Danny Pietruszewski had eight tackles including three for loss and two sacks. Chris Harris nabbed two interceptions while Ryan LaCasse has one.



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